He lost his father at an early age, constantly quarreled with his stepfather, and was fired from multiple jobs, even losing his job as a lawyer after a courtroom brawl with his own client. At age 62, he started a restaurant franchise that now has over 18,000 outlets in 118 different countries and territories. His product – fried chicken. His name…Harland David Sanders.

Colonel Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952 at the age of 62, but he continued to run the company and grow the business well into his 80s. He said that the secret for seniors to feel young is staying young in mind and heart. 

You, too, can stay young at heart well into your 70s, 80s, and even your 90s by staying active and having fun. Here are five activities that will help you do just that.

1. Take a walk

It’s one of the easiest ways to get in your daily exercise. And, it’s double the fun if you do it with a friend. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, start with just ten minutes and gradually build that up until you get to 30 minutes a day, five times per week. So, put on those walking shoes and get going!

2. Have a hobby

Hobbies are enjoyable, and they keep your mind young, sharp, and nimble. Hobbies like gardening, crossword puzzles, and quilting are all fun, but here are half a dozen that will challenge you a bit more:

    • Photography
    • Winemaking
    • Learning a second language
    • Playing a musical instrument
    • Ballroom dancing
    • Table tennis

Hobbies like these will help expand your horizons and get creative at this extraordinary time of your life.

3. Play brain games

If getting physical is not your thing, no problem. There is plenty of fun, simple activities you can do – like playing games that get you thinking. Games like crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Monopoly, checkers, and chess will help you stay sharp mentally and feel young at heart. You can play them the old-fashioned way or enjoy them on your phone or pad. You can even play online with a friend!

4. Find a social outlet

You don’t have to go out with friends every night of the week, or even every weekend, but socializing once or twice a month will help you stay connected with people and with your community. For example, attend a concert with a friend, meet with a book club, go to church with your family, or volunteer at a local charity. If you can’t get out, have a friend or two over occasionally for coffee and a visit. We all need people in our lives; being isolated is a sure way to not stay young at heart.

5. Play with a child

This is a great way to stay young at heart. Children engage all of their senses, and ours. They run, laugh, smile, and can get us doing the same (at least laughing and smiling). This will boost your energy level and release that feel-good chemical into your brain – serotonin. See the world through the eyes of a child and appreciate all of the beauty and wonder that surrounds you.

Try incorporating one or more of these activities into your daily life and see how quickly you’ll feel happier, healthier, and younger at heart!

The caregivers at Home Instead Southwest Florida are perfect companions for seniors. They’re well trained to help older adults stay physically and cognitively healthy through activities like engaging conversations, crafting, playing games, social outings, walking, and much more.

Contact us today and let’s discuss how your family in Southwest Florida can benefit from the many services we offer. All of our care is individualized for our clients because every person is different. We keep seniors young at heart. Try us!